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How to Grow Mums Indoors: 4 Tips, Tricks & Guide

red mums near the window

Typically, mums are grown outdoors in the fall season. However, you can also grow them indoors to some extent. The reason that they are not extremely popular is that it is difficult to recreate the conditions needed for these mums to rebloom when growing them indoors. Therefore, many of them do not bloom more than once indoors.

Instead, they just turn into very green plants.

For these reasons, they are typically not grown indoors, though they absolutely can be. In this article, we’ll work you through how to care for these mums when indoors. While you may not be able to get them to bloom again, they are not extremely difficult to take care of.

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The Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Mums Indoors

1. Planting Mums

Firstly, you’ll need to plant your mums in a safe container indoors. It is best to plant them in a well-draining media that is good at holding water. Mums like moist soil, but if it is overly wet, then they may develop root problems.

Still, they can be planted in most normal potting mediums. They are not extremely expensive.

indoor chrysanthemum blossoming
Image Credit: jhenning, Pixabay

2. Put them in a Well-Lit Area

You should then place the plant in a well-lit area. They need bright light to grow indoors. However, this light should be filtered through a window, which actually helps them grow better. Outdoors, unfiltered light can damage them. However, indoors, this is not much of a problem.

These plants rely on the time of day to determine when to bloom. You need to reduce the number of daytime hours to less than 10 to trigger blooming. You can simply put them in a dark area for some of the time to help trigger this. However, this is not always practical. For this reason, getting mums to bloom can be challenging.

3. Don’t Overheat It

Mums are not designed to handle warmer temperatures. They can handle some warmer daytime temperatures. However, they need cooler temperatures at night. Preferably, night temperatures need to be kept lower than 70 degrees.

However, mums are not great in temperatures lower than 60 degrees. Therefore, you need to keep nighttime temperatures between 60 to 70 degrees.

purple mums growing indoor
Image Credit: adonyig, Pixabay

4. Dealing with Common Problems

Mums can run into some problems. If you have mums for a while, you will likely be coming into contact with one of these problems at some point. Therefore, dealing with these issues is often part of caring for these plants.

Mums do not often have problems with pests. They produce a very strong, naturally occurring pesticide. In fact, this pesticide is so strong that it is hardly allowed under the National Organic Standards guidelines. Still, there are some pests that will happily munch on a mum.

For instance, aphids are one of the most common pests that mums encounter. In fact, they are likely one of the most common pests in just about any garden at all. These pests can even infect indoor plants and they are probably the pest you’re most likely to come into contact with.

They have extremely soft bodies and come in many different colors. Often, they hide underneath leaves, so it can be easy to miss them. Usually, they gather in groups and also leave behind a sticky substance, which is often called honeydew.

Luckily, you can easily wash aphids off of mum plants with a small amount of soap mixed in water. Dish soap is a good option, as it is often very gentle. You can also use a low-toxicity insecticide. Aphids are very prevalent. However, they are not very hard to deal with.

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How Long Do Potted Mums Last Indoors?

Usually, potted mums only bloom for about 3–4 weeks indoors. Past this point, you’ll need to prompt them to re-bloom by controlling the amount of daylight they have each day. Indoors, this can be challenging. Those who are really set on having mums often place them in a dark closet after their 10 hours of sunlight and then get them back out.

However, others simply purchase a new mum plant that is currently blooming. It all depends on the amount of work you’re willing to put in.

In terms of surviving, though, mums will last a very long time—they just might not be blooming for much of that time.

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Mums can be challenging to take care of indoors because they rely on the day/night cycle to determine when to bloom. When they are exposed to lots of artificial light, things can get complicated. They need less than 10 hours of light to prompt blooming. If they are kept indoors, this usually doesn’t happen unless you make it a point to put them somewhere dark.

However, these plants are not very hard to keep alive. They are just hard to make them bloom. They will live happily as a little green plant in your house for a long time, though.

Featured Image Credit: Yurii Stupen, Unsplash


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